Johnson & Wales University Press Release
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For the first time in school history, an NCAA Tournament game will take place at Johnson & Wales University. After winning its third-straight GNAC title on Saturday, the Wildcats were selected as one of the eight regional host sites. JWU will play Elms in the first round.
Johnson & Wales comes into the tournament with a perfect 32-0 record and was ranked 10th in last week’s AVCA national poll. The top-seeded Wildcats take on the No. 8 seeded Blazers at 8 p.m. on Friday in the Wildcat Center. Elms received the New England Collegiate Conference’s automatic bid.
The winner of the Johnson & Wales-Elms match will play the winner of the match between the number four seed, Wesleyan, and fifth-seeded Wellesley. That quarterfinal matchup is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
On the other side of the bracket, MIT comes in as the number two seed and will face the number-seven seed Maine Maritime at 3 p.m. on Friday. The first round starts at 12:30 p.m. with the number three seed Tufts taking on sixth-seeded UMass Boston.
Saturday’s semifinals are scheduled for 2:30 and 5 p.m. The championship match is Sunday at 2 p.m. The winner of the regional advances to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Going into the NCAA Tournament, Johnson & Wales has won 39-consecutive home matches. The Wildcats are one short of tying Bowdoin for the ninth-longest streak in NCAA history. Johnson & Wales leads the NCAA with a .338 hitting percentage and is third at 13.81 kills per set.
JWU has a 65-1 record over the last two seasons, including 59-0 during the regular season. The Wildcats only loss during that span is to UMass Boston in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, $3 for children (12-under) and children under two are free. Tickets sales are cash only and can be purchased the day of the game at the Wildcat Center.
Trunca Earns GNAC Defender of the Year, Cairrao Named Top Rookie
WINTHROP, Mass. – The Johnson & Wales University women’s soccer team was strong at both ends of the field, as was evidence with its six All-GNAC selections. Heading up that list was GNAC Defender of the Year Kali Trunca and Olivia Cairrao, who was voted Rookie of the Year.
Both Trunca (Litchfield, N.H) and Cairrao (Bristol, RI) are members of the First-Team All-GNAC along with junior forward Deja Hursey (Columbia, Md.). Elected to the second-team was senior forward Kyra Selner (Sterling, Va.), sophomore midfielder Molly McCormack (Livingston, N.J.) and freshman defender Brianna DeLuna (Massapequa Park, N.Y.).
Trunca is the second JWU player in a row to earn the league’s top defensive award, joining Nadine Simpson. Trunca was the leader of a JWU defense that limited opponents to a conference-low 0.64 goals per game. She also contributed offensively with a pair of assists.
Cairrao dominated the GNAC Rookie of the Week honors, winning it four out of the nine weeks to go along with a pair of Player of the Week nods. Her 17 goals rates second in the GNAC and is ninth-best among all NCAA freshman. Cairrao is also second in the GNAC with 39 points. She had five multi-goal games, including a hat trick in her collegiate debut against UMass Boston.
All season long Hursey has been a scoring machine. She’s ranked sixth in the NCAA with a GNAC-best 23 goals and is second in the nation with seven game-winning goals, including five during conference games. Hursey also rates eighth in the country with 53 points. Named GNAC Player of the Week on October 23, she’s recorded a pair of hat tricks as part of her seven multi-goal games.
Selner will finish her career as one of the top scorers in program history. A two-time All-GNAC selection, she leads the GNAC in assists during conference games while ranking in the top 15 overall for goals, assists and points. On the JWU career charts, she rates third in points (104), goals (40) and assists (24).
A holding midfielder who moves the ball well, McCormack directs the Johnson & Wales offense out of the midfield. All three of her goals came against conference competition, including the game-winner in the 1-0 victory at Saint Joseph’s.
Even though she’s only a freshman, DeLuna is developing the same pedigree that made Trunca and the Simpson twins so successful on the backline. She started all 19 games she played and helped the Wildcats limit GNAC teams to 0.64 goals per game.
Johnson & Wales should have another strong team in 2018 as five of the six all-conference selections are back. JWU lost to Lasell in the finals of the GNAC Tournament.
Five JWU Men’s Soccer Players Earn All-GNAC Honors
WINTHROP, Mass. – Defense was the hallmark of the Johnson & Wales University men’s soccer team this season and it showed when the GNAC handed out its all-conference awards. Five Wildcats earned a spot on either the first or second teams.
Garnering First-Team All-GNAC honors were midfielders Teagan Drake (Waterbury, Vt.) and Jozef Jennings (Barrington, RI) as well as defender Robert Hayman (Tompkins Cove, N.Y.). Picking up Second-Team All-GNAC was defender Riley McNicholas (Hopkinton, N.H) and goalkeeper Nicholas Mancini (Toms River, NJ).
Drake led the team and ranked 11th in the GNAC with six goals and was also in the GNAC top 20 at 14 points. He found the back of the net twice against Anna Maria and produced three of the first game-winning goals, including a score against Endicott.
Already strong defensively, Jennings became a valuable offensive threat the last month of the season. He scored a goal in four of the last seven contests, including the game-winning goal at Lasell. Jennings finished the year with five goals and 10 points.
Hayman and McNicholas were part of a Johnson & Wales defense that ranked X in the country with a 0.36 goals against average. The Wildcats only allowed more than one goal once all season and went six games in row without surrendering a score.
All season Mancini was a brick wall in goal. He set a new school record with a 0.36 goals against average that ranked X in the country. His .897 save percentage is the X-best in the NCAA and a new school record. He came one shutout shy of setting the school record.
JWU fell in the semifinals of the GNAC Tournament for the second year in a row. All five of the GNAC honorees are back for next year.